Midnight Breeds: Shades of Midnight

Shades of Midnight

Shades of Midnight

In a frozen wilderness steeped in darkness, the lines between good and evil, lover and enemy, are never black or white but drawn in Shades of Midnight…

Something inhuman is stalking the frigid Alaskan wilds, leaving unspeakable carnage in its wake. For bush pilot Alexandra Maguire, the killings stir memories of a horrific event she witnessed as a child and evoke in her the inexplicable sense of otherness she has long felt but never fully understood… until a darkly seductive stranger with secrets of his own enters her world.

Sent from Boston on a mission to investigate the savage attacks and stop the slaughter, vampire warrior Kade has his own reasons for returning to the frigid, forbidding place of his birth. Haunted by a secret shame, Kade soon realizes the stunning truth of the threat he faces–a threat that will jeopardize the fragile bond he has formed with the courageous, determined young woman who arouses his deepest passions and most primal hungers. But in bringing Alex into his world of blood and darkness, Kade must confront both his personal demons and the even greater evil that could destroy all he holds dear…

I had a bit of a bumpy start with this series, but I’m really glad I pushed on with this it. Things are really picking up now, and I’m finding myself increasingly intrigued with the way in which the overall story is developing.

Our hero is Kade. We’ve seen him here and there in the past books, but he hasn’t really played a very big role. But then he gets his chance to shine when he’s asked to travel to Alaska to investigate a spate of vicious murders that reek of the handiwork of Breed males suffering from Bloodlust. Kade’s happy to step up, even though he’s reluctant to return home. He left Alaska under less than ideal circumstances, and he’s pretty sure that the welcome he’s set to receive is going to make the chilly Alaskan weather look downright balmy. But Kade sucks it up and, upon meeting Alexandra Maguire, he soon finds that he’s really glad he did. Alexandra has had a difficult life. Witnessing the brutal deaths of her mother and younger brother, Alex has gone out of her way to bury those memories along with anything about herself that might label her as “strange”. But things start to fall apart when, on a routine delivery to the more remote regions of her tiny town, she discovers the broken bodies of about a dozen people. Everyone is set on blaming the horrific find on a pack of rogue wolves, but Alex is sure that it’s something far more sinister. Only, no one will believe her–no one except the mysterious stranger, Kade.

I really enjoyed this book. Kade and Alex were cute together, but they weren’t my favourite element of this book. As is becoming my habit, I found myself more interested in the overall development of the world that Adrian’s created. The two things that I found myself most drawn in by were the situation with the Ancient, and what Jenna’s deal was. Those two are both characters I felt some sympathy for. The Ancient is vicious, no doubt about it. But he’s also been stuck on this alien planet, in completely unfamiliar surroundings, being abused by the evil Dragos. And Jenna lost her entire family in one fell swoop. She’s basically got nothing left. And I really want her to have some kind of happily-ever-after. Which, luckily enough, is what I think is going to happen in the next book.

This series is really starting to grow on me, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what’s going to happen next. Bring on the next installment of the Midnight Breeds!    

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Midnight Breeds: Ashes of Midnight

Ashes of Midnight

Ashes of Midnight

A woman driven by blood. A man thirsting for vengeance. A place where darkness and desire meet…

As night falls, Claire Roth flees, driven from her home by a fiery threat that seems to come from hell itself. Then, from out of the flames and ash, a vampire warrior emerges. He is Andreas Richen, her onetime lover, now a stranger consumed by vengeance. Caught in the crossfire, Claire cannot escape his savage fury–or the hunger that plunges her into his world of eternal darkness and unending pleasure.

Nothing will stop Andreas from destroying the vampire responsible for slaughtering his Breed brethren… even if he must use his former lover as a pawn in his deadly mission. Blood-bonded to his treacherous adversary, Claire can lead Andreas to the enemy he seeks, but it is a journey fraught with danger–and deep, unbidden desires. For Claire is the one woman Andreas should not crave, and the only one he’s ever loved. A dangerous seduction begins–one that blurs the line between predator and prey, and stokes the flames of a white-hot passion that may consume all in its path…

I know that I’ve spent some time bitching about this series and how inconsistent it can be. One moment it’s really good, and then the next it’s utterly predictable. And I keep reading because I’ve already bought the bloody books. And for the first time in a while, I’m glad that I’ve kept reading because this book was a definite “up”.

I’ve spoken about Andreas Richen before. He was the sexy leader of the Hamburg DarkHaven when the unthinkable happened: his entire family was gunned down in a mindless attack that left Andreas as the sole survivor. It goes without saying that Andre was devastated by the loss, and he’s now out for revenge. Over the past few months, he’s steadily been killing off those involved in the attack against his DarkHaven. And by now everyone who’s wronged him is dead… except for one person: Wilhelm Roth. Roth is a big wig at the enforcement agency, an increasingly corrupt organisation meant to ensure the protection of the Breed, and the one who ordered the hit on Andreas’s DarkHaven. Andre is dead set on making Roth pay, but there is one little, tiny detail making the whole revenge thing a bit complicated: Roth is mated to Claire. Andre and Claire have A Past. And it isn’t one based exclusively on scratching their respective itches; they genuinely cared about each other. But then one day Andre just disappeared from Claire’s life without a word of explanation. Devastated, but convinced that Andre no longer wanted her, Claire decided to move on with her life. Unfortunately, the guy she decided to move on with was a thundering loony. Once Claire realises this, she ends up on the run along with Andre. They both eventually end up on the doorstep of the Order, taking the story from Germany to the US.

Overall, I thought this book was much better than a few of the previous ones. I’ll be honest, there was a time or two where I rolled my eyes. I mean, the idea that after all the obsessing Andreas has been doing about Roth, it never once occurred to him to consider why Roth was targeting him seemed silly. But the eye rolls were a lot less frequent in this book. I enjoyed the romance element and the over arching story line. This will probably never be one of my favourite series’ but it’s good if you’re looking for something to pass the time with.

You can buy it at Diesel’s ebook store.

Midnight Breeds: Veil of Midnight

Veil of Midnight

Veil of Midnight

Bound by blood, addicted to danger, they’ll enter the darkest-and most erotic-place of all…

A warrior trained in bullets and blades, Renata cannot be bested by any man-vampire or mortal. But her most powerful weapon is her extraordinary psychic ability-a gift both rare and deadly. Now a stranger threatens her hard-won independence, a golden-haired vampire who lures her into a realm of darkness… and pleasure beyond imagining.

A combat loving adrenaline-junkie, Nikolai dispenses his own justice to enemies of the Breed-and his latest quarry is a ruthless assassin. One woman stands in his way: the seductive, cool-as-ice bodyguard, Renata. But Renata’s powers are put to the test when a loved one, a child, is threatened and she’s forced to turn to Niko for help. As the two join forces, as desire fans the flames of a deeper hunger, Renata’s life is under siege by a man who offers the exquisite pleasure of a blood bond-and a passion that could save or doom them both forever…  

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this book. For the most part, it was a little predictable. I’ll admit, I was getting frustrated with this series and Ms Adrian. It was like, “Can we please have a little more ooomph here, please?” And then something happened towards the end that woke me up and got me a little more interested for the next book.

But before I get to the next book in this series, let me tell you about Veil of Midnight. Our leading lady, Renata, is quite a badass. She has the ability to make vampires heads hurt… bad. I imagine it to be sort of like a seizure. And, as a result of this neat little trick, she has earned the not-so-coveted position of body guard to Sergei Yakut, a Gen One vampire with a sadistic steak as wide as my butt. She’s also assigned herself the role as protector for Mira, a little girl with an amazing psychic ability. Sergei is of great interest to our hero, Nikolai. The Order has received word that someone is out killing all the remaining Gen One vampires. Nikolai has been sent to look for Sergei in Toronto to warn him of the impending danger and to protect him. That’s when he first catches a glimpse of the lovely Renata. Unfortunately, their first meeting does not go well and Renata puts him flat on his back, and not in the fun way. Nikolai’s face and ego are a little bruised, but he’s fascinated by the tough-as-nails Renata. There’s just one problem: Sergei Yakut. Nikolai sees how he treats the his staff and family, but as much as he’d like to kill the bastard, he can’t; it’s his responsibility to ensure Sergei keeps breathing.

The romance between Nikolai and Renata progresses pretty much as you’d expect with declarations of love and minor misunderstandings that are quickly cleared up with more “I love yous”. While that was fairly yawn-inducing, the interesting part came with Andreas Richen, the leader of the Berlin (as least, I think it’s Berlin) Darkhaven. This guy loses his shit in a big way and I’m interested in seeing what’s going to happen with him.

If you feel like giving this book a go, you can get it at Diesel’s ebook store.

Midnight Breeds: Midnight Rising

Midnight Rising

Midnight Rising

In a world of shadows and dark, consuming hungers, desire is the deadliest weapon…

Fueled by pain and anger over a shattering betrayal, the warrior Rio has pledged his life to the war against the Rogues. He will let nothing stand in his way-least of all a mortal woman with the power to expose the entire vampire race. But now an ancient evil has been awakened, and a stunning darkness is on the rise.

For journalist Dylan Alexander, it began with the discovery of a hidden tomb. Suddenly she is at the center of a gathering storm of violence and secrets. But nothing is as dangerous as the scarred, lethally seductive man who rises from the shadows to plunge her into his world of dark desire and endless night. Here she is powerless to resist Rio’s touch, even as she uncovers a shocking link to her own past. Now Dylan must choose: Leave Rio’s midnight dream, or risk it all for the man who has shown her true passion and the infinite pleasures of the heart.

Midnight Rising is book four in the Midnight Breeds series by Lara Adrian. I was quite keen on reading this book. Poor Rio had had a really rough time of it for the past few months-what with his mate proving to be a treacherous bitch-so if anyone deserved a happily ever after, it was him. But I just didn’t feel it. Maybe it was too soon for him to be moving on? I can’t put my finger on what it is, but this book just didn’t do it for me.

Midnight Awakening takes place five months after Midnight Rising and starts us off in the Czech Republic. Our leading lady, Dylan, is on holiday there when she is approached by a ghost. This is no big deal for Dylan; she’s been seeing ghosts for most of her life. It’s creepy but not something that really phases her. Anyway, this ghost is pretty insistent that Dylan go up the mountain, off the trail, because there is someone up there in dire need of saving. Dylan, being the nice girl that she is, can’t in good conscience wonder off and just let whatever is about to happen happen. So she follows the ghost’s instructions and there she comes across a completely Loony Tunes Rio. Our favourite Spaniard is in a really sorry state. He’s been living in that dark, dirty cave for five months. He hasn’t been outside, he hasn’t eaten and he hasn’t had any blood. When he decided to stay in the Czech Republic, it was with the idea of ending his misery. But for some reason he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. And, as is typical, just when Rio has decided that today is the day, Dylan shows up and takes some compromising pictures of the cave. These pictures have the potential to blow the entire vampire race’s cover. It’s thus Rio’s responsibility to chase after Dylan and destroy the photos.

I seem to have an odd relationship with Ms Adrian’s books: when I have low expectations, the book completely blows my mind; when I’m dying of excitement, the book lets me down. So, from now on, no more expectations. I just found this whole book so… boring. I didn’t feel the chemistry between the main characters at all, and Rio was actually beginning to irritate me. I’m going to sound completely insensitive saying this, but he came across as a bit whiny. Dylan as a heroine wasn’t too awful, but I just didn’t connect with her.

I found this book a little bit on the “meh” side, but if you feel like giving it a try, you can get it at Diesel’s ebook store.

Midnight Breeds: Midnight Awakening

Midnight Awakening

Midnight Awakening

He has resisted temptation for centuries, a stone-cold warrior whose frozen heart refuses to thaw-until her…

With a dagger in her hand and vengence on her mind, Darkhaven beauty Elise Chase prowls Boston’s streets in search of retribution against the Rogue vampires who took from her everything she cherished. Using an extraordinary psychic gift, she tracks her prey, well aware that the power she possesses is destroying her. She must learn to harness this gift, and for that she can turn to only one man-the deadliest of the Breed warriors, Tegan.

No stranger to loss, Tegan knows Elise’s pain. He knows fury, but when he slays his enemies it is with ice in his veins. He is perfect in his self-control, until Elise seeks his aid in her personal war. An unholy alliance is forged-a bond that will link them by blood and vow-and plunge them into a tempest of danger, desire, and the darkest passions of the heart…

Midnight Awakening is book three in the Midnight Breeds series by Lara Adrian. I’ll admit, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this book. Tegan, our hero, is a Gen One vampire who seemed to me to be in dire need of an attitude adjustment, and Elise, our heroine, is a widowed Breedmate who struck me as a bit of a wuss. So I started this book with some pretty low expectations. But since I flat out refuse to skip books in a series, I sucked it up and started reading. Imagine my surprise when I found this to be the best book of the series.

We met Elise in Kiss of Crimson, which took place four months before Midnight Awakening. She had just lost her son and she was determined to get revenge. So she left her Darkhaven (the community where most vampire live) and made her way in the human world. She taught herself how to fight, and how to kill, the Rogues who were responsible for murdering her son. She does pretty well for awhile-until she bites off more than she can chew. She ends up taking on more Rogues than she can handle, and things start looking pretty grim… until Tegan swoops in to save the day. Once Tegan realises who he’s saved, you could have knocked him over with a feather. “Gobsmacked” doesn’t even begin to cover it. But Tegan’s got his own crap to deal with and if this chick is on a suicide mission, that’s none of his business. He walks away, not expecting to see Elise again. However, circumstances take a turn for the worse-or the better-and Elise and Tegan find themselves stuck together in extremely close quarters. Closer than either are comfortable with.

While the Order’s headquarters are in Boston, most of the story took place in Berlin. It was here that we saw some of the familiar faces and met some new ones. Among the old favourites is Rio, the sexy Spaniard whose mate turned out to be a crazy bitch. His mental state has not improved since we last saw him. Sterling Chase has joined the Order and has gone from straight-laced and buttoned-up to being brooding bad boy. The new faces include two more new recruits, Kade and Brock. We haven’t learned much about them beyond the fact that they’re friends with Nikolai (swoon) and they love a good fight. I’ve saved the most sexiest newbie for last: Andreas Reichen. Oh, my yum. This guy is fine. He’s the leader of the Belin Darkhaven and I cannot wait to see more of this guy.

Never have I been so happy to be wrong. I prematurely judged our leads and if it weren’t for my slight case of OCD, I would have missed what I honestly feel is the best book in the series so far. That’ll learn me not to be judge-y.

If you’re looking to read Midnight Awakening-and I really think you should-you can buy it either at Diesel’s ebook store or over at Sony’s.

Midnight Breeds: Kiss of Crimson

Kiss of Crimson

Kiss of Crimson

Bonded by blood and dark secrets, they enter a place of danger and infinite pleasure…

He comes to her more dead than alive, a towering black-clad stranger, riddled with bullets and rapidly losing blood. As she struggles to save him, veterinarian Tess Culver is unaware that the man calling himself Dante is no man at all, but one of the Breed, vampire warriors engaged in a desperate battle. In a single erotically charge moment Tess is plunged into his world-a shifting, shadowed place where bands of Rogue vampires stalk the night, cutting a swath of terror.

Haunted by visions of a dark future, Dante lives and fights like there is no tomorrow. Tess is a complication he does not need-but now, with his brethren under attack, he must shield Tess from a growing threat that includes Dante himself. For with one reckless, irresistible kiss, she has become an inextricable part of his underworld realm… and his touch awakens her to hidden gifts, desires and hungers she never knew she possessed. Bonded by blood, Dante and Tess must work together to thwart deadly enemies, even as they discover a passion that transcends the boundaries of life itself…

Kiss of Crimson is book two in the Midnight Breeds series by Lara Adrian, and our hero is the lovely Dante. I may have mentioned this before, but I feel the need to tell you again: Dante pushes my buttons. He reminded me a little bit of Rhage from BDB, in that while he may act like a devil-may-care playboy, he’s actually a sensitive soul. And what girl can resist that combo? I’ll tell you: none.

Dante has had visions of death since he was a kid, and he knows how he’s going to die. So, he’s been doing all he can to outrun his future by living hard and fast. He fights, he fucks and he doesn’t look back. One night, while he’s engaged in his second favourite activity, Dante is injured by a pack of Rogues, and it looks like Dante’s fate has come to meet him early. And it does, only not in the form of the Grim Reaper. He stumbles into the first available building he comes across, not realising that his life is about to be thrown topsy-turvy. Turns out, the building he’s just broken into is a veterinary clinic run by Tess Culver. Tess has a way with wounded animals, and her life revolves around her clinic. She’s got a Dark Past, so she avoids commitment like the plague. No romance for Tess; her first and only love is her clinic. Thus, like any self-respecting workaholic, Tess often works late. So you can imagine her surprise when she finds a humongous, bleeding, leather clad guy in her storeroom. Like, what the hell?

I liked that Tess was sensible about the whole situation. She wasn’t all, “Ooooh, you’re sexy, so therefore you can’t possibly hurt me!” She knows that sexy doesn’t mean jack-squat in the grand scheme of things, and she wants to call the police. But, like I said, Tess has a bit of a soft spot for wounded animals and Dante manages to convince her to keep mum about the whole incident. Sadly, though, that is where things start going downhill. Dante isn’t only in need of stitches at this point; he also needs blood. Badly. In his desperation, Dante bites the only human available. This wouldn’t be a problem under normal circumstances but, as luck would have it, Tess is a Breedmate and Dante has inadvertently claimed her as his mate. Given that the war between the Order and the Rogues is heating up, this is so not what Dante needs right now. I mean, he’s got Rogues to kill and he’s expecting death to crash into him any day now. A long-term relationship with a woman like Tess is the last thing on his mind.

While there was quite a bit of angst and romancing going on between Tess and Dante, the Order at large had their hands full with this creepy new drug called Crimson. It’s being sold to young vampires in clubs and, while it’s effect on humans are totally benign, it causes vampires who consume the drug to experience episodes of Bloodlust. This is a huge problem for the Order because it’s virtually impossible to determine which vampires are actually Rogue, and which ones have simply been exposed to Crimson.

What I also liked about Kiss of Crimson is that we meet some very interesting new characters. The first is Special Agent Sterling Chase. He appears to be as straight-laced as they come, but he’s determined to help the Order get Crimson off the streets. The Order guys aren’t too keen on him, but he eventually proves himself by turning out to be a surprisingly vicious fighter. Elise is Chase’s sister-in-law, and he’s got a gigantic torch burning for her. Not that Elise notices. She spends most of her time worrying about her son, Camden, and missing her lost husband (whose name escapes me). It honestly doesn’t occur to her to look at poor Chase as anything more than a brother.

Overall, I enjoyed Kiss of Crimson. Tess wasn’t annoying, Dante was hot, and the story was interesting. But I have two main issues. The first is superficial and relates to me being a wee bit of a fangirl: where the hell were Rio and Nikolai? While I loved Dante, a surplus of him does not mean that a deficit of those two hotties is acceptable. On a serious note, I felt that the ending was a little rushed. It was something that I’d noticed in Kiss of Midnight too, but I assumed it was a once-off. There were unresolved issues by the end both books that had nothing to do with the overall story line, but I still thought that they should have been addressed. Beyond those two complaints, I thoroughly enjoyed this story and would recommend it to those of you looking for a new paranormal series.

 

Midnight Breeds: Kiss of Midnight

Kiss of Midnight

Kiss of Midnight

Insatiable desire. Endless seduction. One touch is just the beginning.

He watches her across the crowded dance club, a sensual black-haired stranger who stirs Gabrielle’s deepest fantasies. But nothing about this night-or this man-is what it seems. For when Gabrielle witnesses a murder outside the club, reality shifts into something dark and deadly. In that shattering instant shis thrust into a realm she never knew existed-a realm where vampires stalk the shadows and a blood war is set to ignite.

Lucan Thorne despises the violence carried out by his lawless brethren. A vampire himself, Lucan is a Breed warrior, sworn to protect his kind-and the unwitting humans existing alongside them-from the mounting threat of the Rogues. Lucan cannot risk binding himself to a mortal woman, but when Gabrielle is targeted by his enemies, he has no choice but to bring her into the dark underworld he commands.

Here, in the arms of the Breed’s formidable leader, Gabrielle will confront the extraordinary destiny of danger, seduction, and the darkest pleasures of all…

Kiss of Crimson is the first book in the Midnight Breeds series by Lara Adrian. It is also the first time I’ve read anything of Ms Adrian’s. Having heard a lot of good things about this series, I was quite keen on getting started. And I was not disappointed because it was pretty damn good. It reminded me a little of J.R Ward’s BDB, and anything even vaguely resembling those boys is a-okay with me.

Let me give you a quick break down of the series. The Breed are vampires, and they’ve been living among humans in secret for centuries. Despite having to lay low, the Breed are pretty reliant on humanity. Not only do they need to feed off humans, but humans also play a pretty important role in terms of procreation. See, there’s this genetic anomaly within the Breed where only male offspring are produced. For obvious reasons, this is a gigantic problem. Thankfully, there are certain women-Breedmates-who are capable of mating with members of the Breed. These women are pretty rare and are hugely important to the survival of the species. Unlike vampires of myth, the Breed tend to coexist peaceably with humanity. But, as with anything, there are sometimes exceptions to the rule. The Rogues are vampires who have succumbed to Bloodlust. Unlike the rest of the Breed, these vampires do not play well with others and they kill indiscriminately. Their very existence threatens the Breed, and it’s up to the Order to stop these buttheads before they expose the entire race.

Kiss of Midnight is set in Boston (a welcome break from New York; everything always happens in New York), where the Order lives in their secret compound.The order is made up of a couple of people. First we have Rio. He is this super sexy Spaniard who lives with his mate, Eva, in the compound. He is uber-sophisticated and sounds like he just came in from a GQ photo shoot. Next, we have Dante. He’s a passionate Italian with a love for both fighting and fu… fornicating. Dante’s not too into fancy-schmancy suits. He likes his leather. Third is the divine Russian, Nikolai. He likes anything that goes BOOM. He adores weaponry of all kinds, be it guns, knives or bombs. The second happily mated member of the Order is Gideon. He’s the resident techno-geek, and he’s in charge of all the Order’s gadgetry. His mate’s name is Savannah, and they are nauseatingly happy together. The last two members of the Order are the Gen Ones. They are the oldest members of the Breed, and they are incredibly powerful. Tegan is not a people person. He’s cold, aloof and mysterious. We don’t learn too much about him in this book, but I will admit to being somewhat intrigued… Last, but not least, we have Lucan. He’s the leader of this motley bunch of warriors, and he is the living, breathing definition of the stoic leader.

Lucan is very, very serious. And who can blame the guy? He’s got the weight of the world on his shoulders. He doesn’t have time for things like fun or, God forbid, romance. But that is exactly what lands in his lap when he meets Gabrielle. He’s spent some time checking her out, but he doesn’t think that anything will actually happen. Boy, is he wrong. Gabrielle is a photographer and, like Lucan, isn’t exactly Susie Sunshine. She’s always felt very apart from others, and she isn’t looking for any kind of commitment. Having been abandoned by her crazy mother when she was a baby, Gabrielle’s biggest fear is that she’ll one day go down that same road, and end up in a padded white cell herself. And when she witnesses a murder that no one else saw, or can even find any evidence of, Gabrielle is convinced that she’s losing the plot. When Lucan learns that Gabrielle witnessed a murder committed by Rogues, and took photos of the scene, he knows that the time for simply admiring Gabrielle from a distance has passed. He needs to get rid of those pictures ASAP.

I really enjoyed this book. While I liked Lucan and Gabrielle well enough, I don’t think they’ll stand out for me in the long run. Lucan was just a teeny bit too serious for me. It was like, “Smile! I’ll pay for the stitches!” Gabrielle was okay. She wasn’t completely helpless, which was nice, and she didn’t hesitate to tell Lucan that she thought he was being full of shit. I have to admit, I was far more interested in the rest of the Order, so Lucan and Gabrielle’s romance was a secondary concern for me. All that being said, I think this whole series has enormous promise and I can’t wait to read the rest of the guys’ stories. They’re going to be epic.